Radio New Zealand | 9 October 2008
Defence industry wants US free trade deal
The defence industry is renewing calls for a free trade agreement with the United States, which would allow New Zealand companies to compete for a slice of US military contracts.
Representatives of local companies met in Wellington this week for the a conference of the Defence Industry Association’.
Defence companies can’t directly register for US Federal Government contracts because New Zealand does not have free trade with the United States.
Due to these constraints, Tait Electronics says it has to do some of its manufacturing in Texas, and has built a plant there that’s a direct replica of its facility in New Zealand.
The company says it would return production to New Zealand if a trade deal with the US is negotiated.
The United States is starting trade negotiations next March with the P4 group of countries, which includes New Zealand.